Introduction: Several studies showing a high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in pregnant women have been published in recent years. Vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy has been related to adverse events both in mother and child. Plasma 25-OH vitamin D (25(OH)D) levels in the newborn are dependent on maternal deposits and show a close correlation with maternal levels; thus, neonates of vitamin D-deficient mothers present a greater risk of hypocalcaemia, rickets and a higher incidence of infections during the first year of life, particularly if exclusively breastfed without vitamin D supplementation.
Subjects and methods: Between March and May 2013, 99 pregnant women in whom plasma 25(OH)D by chemoluminescence and PTH by (LIAISON® N-TACT® PTH II Assay) levels were measured in cord blood at birth. Clinical history data of the mothers and neonates were collected and a nutritional survey was made on maternal vitamin D and calcium intake and degree of sun exposure.
Results: Race distribution was: 45% Caucasian, 24% IndoPakistani, 20% SouthAmerican, 11% others. Mean 25(OH)D value in cord blood was 10.4±6.1 ng/ml. Vitamin D deficiency (25(OH)D<20 ng/dl) was present in 94% of pregnant women. Mean PTH value in cord blood was 6.1±2.5 pg/ml and did not correlate with 25(OH)D. Vitamin D and calcium intake was considered adequate in the majority of mothers although sun exposure was deemed deficient in 47%. Vitamin D levels in cord blood were significantly related to race, skin type, degree of sun exposure, use of traditional dress and vitamin D and calcium intake.
Conclusions: The prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in pregnant women was very high after the winter months and consequently in their offspring. Thus, the administration of vitamin D supplements should be indicated during pregnancy.
20 - 22 Sep 2014
European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology